It’s hard to know what to say. Even though my landlord had forewarned me in March that a pizza chain wanted to move into my retail space, I’m still stunned. I had only been in business then a year and a half and it seemed unfair to try to squeeze me out so soon. Guess I thought a miracle would happen. Not knowing if we would get to stay, it has been rather difficult to plan any events.
The reasons for our closure are complex, but they can be summed up by two:
First, the business had not yet shown a profit. If it had, I might have been able to come up with $5,000 more in rent and sign a five year lease. Simply stated: Not enough people bought books. It is financial support that a business needs to keep its doors open, not just people who say they “love” used bookstores. Also, the local media was not charitably inclined to introduce the store with a feature article, as they routinely do for food or beer-related venues, so many people still do not know about this wonderful “old-fashioned” used bookstore where browsing can be an enjoyable way to discover books that cannot be found in new bookstores with their market-driven selections.
Secondly, there is no way that a locally owned business can compete with a national franchised company. Somehow, I’m guessing, THEY will get a feature article. They may even be able to manipulate sign code compliance and bend a few rules. Do not expect them to contribute much to the local economy, hire local contractors, set up free community events. And don’t ask me why they couldn’t have moved into the empty restaurant nearby.
What happens next is somewhat open to fate. The choices are:
Sell the store.
Move to a new location with low rent and high foot traffic.
Take on a business partner and move.
Store 20,000 books until I have a clear idea of what to do next.
Downsize and sell online.
Sell off everything.
Once again, a big thanks to all of my supporters and the many friends I’ve made since opening in 2011! I’ll keep you posted on new developments. I have been doing a lot of thinking about this, but throw any new ideas this way. And pass the word.
All books 20% off right now, except rare books.